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Ex-Sports CS Wario guilty of misuse of Sh54m Rio Olympics funds

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Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario (right) and former senior sports official Stephen Soi are escorted by a police officer as they leave the anticorruption court in Milimani on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. [Collins Kweyu,Standard]

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary (CS) Hassan Wario has been found guilty of abuse of office and misuse of public funds.

A Magistrate’s court in Nairobi held the Prosecution had proven Wario had a role in the embezzlement of funds allocated to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) to oversee the welfare of Kenyan representatives to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At least Sh88.6 million was reported to have been embezzled, an investigation ordered by the Sports ministry revealed in November 2016.

The report said the money had been earmarked to buy air tickets for team members but was instead taken by unidentified ministry officials.

The report was compiled by an investigation team led by Paul Ochieng, the Dean of Students at Strathmore University.

The report said the National Olympic Committee of Kenya also diverted money and kit from U.S. sports equipment manufacturer Nike worth millions of shillings.

“Some (sports) ministry officials misappropriated Sh88,611,480 meant for air tickets. NOCK has been misappropriating Nike contract funds and kit amounting to Sh126 million per year meant for athletes since 2013,” the report said.

The courts, however, established that the then-Sports ministry officials couldn’t account for Sh54 million.

Wario will be detained at the Gigiri Police Station, pending his sentencing on Thursday, September 16, Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma directed.

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